Thursday, November 22, 2012

Design versus Trends

It is Thanksgiving and we are all getting ready to celebrate the bounty of life's blessings with our friends and family. For past many months catalogs have been pouring in my mail box to make sure I have the right decor keeping up with the trends while I express my gratitude for the beautiful life on Thanksgiving Day.

If I cannot afford the most expensive and trendy designer products then there are websites and blogs that can tell me how I can create the expensive looks for cheap with simple DIYs. It can perhaps be inspiring at some level while we explore our own dislike and like and push the boundaries of safe and neutral decor but how far do we take that... Do we really need to change wall color, accessories, dishes, lightings each season, at each festival, year after year, season after season... Is it really necessary to celebrate a festival like Thanksgiving, would it help generate a feeling of gratitude, generosity or love and tolerance among family and friends.

I am a Bridge designer by profession, and I understand learning the basic principles of design and rule of structural stability but after that, the site and the transportation needs govern the design. The function leads and defines the form in most cases while generating unique structures where no two are alike, and they live and evolve through years. And so its very tough for me to grasp a design push where trends overtake the function and all sorts of absurdities prevail in the name of conforming with trends, is that necessary? And not to mention that they'll become disposables and garage sale commodities within few weeks of the so called celebration...

Are we promoting a culture where we are voluntarily surrendering our like and dislikes to the tastes of the few that we admire and in the process loosing our individuality. When Pantone announces colors for the next season, do we really need go out of our way to paint that chair 'tangerine tango' and keep up?

Design I think is that refuge that helps inspire and promote function and help achieve inner peace and at the same time, perfect design ideas for individuals come to surface when we settle our minds rather than constantly running after someone else's peace and inspiration. It is an individual statement and we all need to find it for ourselves rather than copy someone else.

This Thanksgiving season, while we are expressing gratitudes for all that God has blessed us with, can we also thank God and Nature for the sensibilities we were built with and let them guide us to a haven that we can carve for our soul and not the look from the favorite magazine and favorite designer...

May the good sense prevail and we follow our own inspiration and pave our own path to the individual destination and journey that we are to take in this life...


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